A family had a lucky escape after their home caught fire in the middle of the night.

Maureen Surgenor and her children Joshua, 11 and Olivia, 10, were sound asleep in their Alder Green home last week when a fire broke out in their loft.

Maureen, 36, says she was awoken by a beeping noise just after 2am last Wednesday (September 19) and when she went to investigate she discovered her loft was filled with thick smoke and the far wall of the roof was ablaze.

She told the Times the beeping smoke alarm saved the family’s life: “I was in a deep sleep and heard the beeping, but I couldn’t understand where it was coming from.

“We have converted the loft to a playroom for the kids so I went up there and that’s when I saw the room filled with smoke. I thought about trying to find the source of the smoke but then I saw the flames licking up the wall and just started shouting ‘fire, get out’. I got the kids up and told them to go next door and knock our neighbours up and I called the fire brigade.

“If that smoke alarm hadn’t gone off we might not have got out.”

Maureen then called husband Chris, 36, who was working nightshift at GSK as firefighters discovered the fire originated in some wiring in the wall behind a plug.

She added: “The fire br igade were there in a matter of minutes and got it under control. I always thought if I had a fire what would I grab first, like passports or photographs but honestly when it happens you just go in to survival mode and want to get you and your kids out.

“They said it started behind the socket.

“It was unavoidable and nothing we could have anticipated. Just bad luck.”

Maureen says she and the family have been so traumatised by the near-miss that they are closing the loft space off.

She said: “I dread to think what could have happened. It’s really scary. Just a few weeks ago Joshua was up there with his friends for a sleepover. We will just be using the loft for storage from now on.

“It scares me to think what would have happened if we didn’t have a smoke detector up there.

“I couldn’t even smell the smoke from the upstairs hall or even when I was climbing the ladders to go up there. It’s terrifying.” James Scott is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire.

He said: “Our free home fire safety visits are the very cornerstone of the service’s prevention efforts.

“They help us safeguard members of the community – especially vulnerable and elderly residents, but this also applies to the wider community. We want everyone to be safe in their homes and cannot stress enough the importance of having a working smoke alarm.

“If fire breaks out, a smoke or heat alarm will give you valuable early warning to react and reach a place of safety.

“And, if you are sleeping, a working alarm could be absolutely vital.”

Anyone can arrange a free home fire safety visit by calling SFRS on the free phone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or visiting www.firescotland.gov.uk